When you talk about hunger as a filmmaker, often you talk about desire for fulfillment and accomplishment. I guess you can say that’s what I have now. It’d be nice to be able to sit at the table with other artists and be able to share a piece of the pie. I mention this because it’s a funny story I tell (or people like to tell about me) about how I got my start with Among B-Boys, that I was hungry, and could have used some pie. Apple pie. Lemon Meringue. Pumpkin Pie.
See, I was once an intern at Visual Communications (VC) in Los Angeles while attending UCLA. And by the time I had graduated, the VC office in Little Tokyo had become somewhat of a home away from home. So having just completed school, I was on the job search and trying to find a way to stay in Los Angeles for awhile longer, rather than move home to the Bay Area. I would drop into the VC office in search of advice, help with job applications, and of course, the endless snacks that seem to magically replenish on their central meeting table. And of course the only part that of the story that ever gets relayed is about “Chris looking for the food” part.
So one unassuming day in December, I had stopped in for those very reasons I had mentioned above, and Leslie Ito, the then Executive Director of VC, had mentioned to me that the “Armed With A Camera Fellowship” was searching for a wider applicant pool, and it would be a great opportunity for me. I remember being pleasantly surprised that my weekly stroll to the VC office had presented me with quite an opportunity. The only catch: the application was due MIDNIGHT that night!
To wrap this one up, I had a previous unused documentary treatment from my Ethnocommunications course at UCLA. After some rewriting and application forms, I found out a week or two later I was in, and the rest is history! (or shall I say recording history?)
To link it back around: this taught me an early lesson of the importance of putting yourself in position to succeed, and surrounding yourself with an experienced crew. Or in some cases, put yourself in position to get lucky.